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Eurocopter delivers last EC120s helicopter

The EC120. The fleet currently in service logs more than 150,000 flight hours every year.

MARIGNANE (BNS): Eurocopter has delivered the last and final EC120 training helicopter to Helidax.

Helidax was awarded a contract in January 2008 from the DGA (French government procurement agency) to provide helicopter pilot training to all three branches of the French armed forces and the Gendarmerie.

The first three helicopters were delivered in October 2009. Within just twelve months, all 36 helicopters were delivered and have progressively been replacing the 54 SA341 and SA342 Gazelles previously used for training, according to Eurocopter.

With the assistance of INAER France ((formerly Proteus), Eurocopter equips the helicopters with the avionics required by the French Army Air Corp's training school (EALAT), such as a full screen cockpit with night vision goggle (NVG) capabilities and an automatic pilot.

Although the EC120 is less powerful than the Gazelle, it can perform just as wide a range of missions - flight training, navigation, night flights with NVG, autorotations, instrument flights, and initiation to mountain flying.

Helidax is responsible for the financing, operation and maintenance of the helicopters, and retains full ownership while the training work is provided by the military instructors at EALAT.

Eurocopter has delivered more than 650 EC120s to date. Its compact size, low costs, excellent flight quality and simple piloting capabilities have made it a popular choice for training missions, it said.


Eurocopter  EC120  

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